Jan 28, 2015

A Bad Joke

In recent months a doctor from Venezuela was visiting the United States.
On his return trip home, he was flying out of Miami International Airport.
When the ticket agent asked him if he had any explosives in his bag, the overly tired
man responded, “Yes, he had C-4 in his luggage.”
The ticket agent was unsure what that was, and asked if it was a gun.
”No,” the doctor replied, “It’s explosives.”

Now, I’m no genius, but even I can see that that was not a smart move to make.
Especially in the Post 9/11 world.

The airline worker also didn’t think it was a joke.
The police were called.
His luggage was searched.
Five airlines were delayed and two concourses shut down.
Thousands of people were affected by his joke.
Because, he insisted that it was a joke.
He really didn’t have C-4 in his luggage. He was just trying to be funny.
He was also very tired, he claimed, and didn’t realize the effect his joke would have.

His joke ended up costing him $90,000.
Because he had the funds to pay the fine, he didn’t have to serve any jail time.
Dude is lucky he’s a doctor and had money sitting in his account!

I can read this story and get a chuckle and shake my head in disbelief.
I can say this guy was a dummy and
But really, I can’t.
That would be the pot calling the kettle black.
I cannot sit in judgment on this poor doctor.
Because I did the same thing.

Remember my statement earlier?
That I’m no genius?
I’m not.

Way, way back in the 1990’s – I think it was around 1996 –
(thankfully PRE 9/11)
we lived on the Oregon coast.
The Smithsonian Museum took several of its displays and put them on the road
so America could see some of its treasures.
The display came to Portland.
Flynn, Belle and I had to go see it.
There were some fabulous things to see:
Indiana Jones’ hat
The Fonz’s leather jacket
The capsule that the first astronauts splashed down in the ocean with
Dorothy’s ruby red slippers
I think we even saw the bar from Cheers
There were many other wonderful things that I can’t remember

Since this was such a special exhibit, there were also Secret Service agents that traveled
with it, to keep it safe and protect the artifacts – most of them are irreplaceable.
I was new to security checkpoints.
We didn’t need them back then.
We were safe.
We weren’t scared of terrorists or bad guys.

And Secret Service guys are hot.
Have you seen one up close and personal?
If not, take my word for it.
At least the agents traveling with the exhibit were quite attractive.
(Don’t judge! Yes, I was married, but I wasn’t dead! A girl can still appreciate attractive men!
Have you seen Hugh Jackman?!?!)

So it was my turn to go through security.
A very attractive agent took my purse and said,
”Do you have any guns, knives, pepper spray or any weapons of any kind?”
I looked at him, and with smoldering eyes said,
(I cringe when I think of it)
”Yes, I have ALL of it!”

Good Hell!!
What was I thinking?!?!?!

I would love to kick old Betty in the knees and tell her to knock it off.
Use the head that’s on her shoulders and keep her mouth shut.

Of course I had no guns.
Of course I had no knives.
Of course I had no pepper spray
or any other weapons of any kind.
I still don’t have items like that… almost 20 years later.

Mr. Secret Service man didn’t think I was as cute as I thought I was.
As a matter of fact, he didn’t like me at all.

I was MORTIFIED as he said (in a very official tone of voice),
”Ma’am, come with me.”
And he took me away from Flynn and Belle,
to a secure room.
He took my purse and searched it.
And then, the ultimate of humiliation,
I got a pat down.

I was ready to cry the entire time.
I was so embarrassed.
I wanted to DIE!

Thankfully the agent realized I was just an idiot, 
spouting off my too large mouth, and sent me on my way.
With my tail between my legs, I crawled back to my family and tried to enjoy the exhibit.
Which, amazingly enough, I did.
It was amazing.

BUT… (and here’s the important part)
I learned two very important lessons that day:
There are only 3 surviving pairs of Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers
Don’t mess with a Secret Service Agent.
They may have big muscles and cute butts,
but they don’t have a sense of humor.
They have a job to do, and they do it well.
Very well.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

PS – 20 years has removed me far enough from this story that I can look back and chuckle.
Just a little…
I’m still quite embarrassed by it,
but that was a different Betty at a different time of life.
Of course, I would NEVER do anything like that again and hope I’ve learned
the value of keeping my mouth shut.
Especially in the days since 9/11.
There’s no room in this world for “jokes” like that!

1 comment:

Welcome to the Garden of Egan said...

I'm laughing so hard I can't catch my breath!!
Oh my hell is right.

You are officially my hero!